Aero Contractors is upbeat on meeting regulatory requirements to resume scheduled flight operations by the end of September 2022.
The Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Capt Abdullahi Mahmood, disclosed this to journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja shortly after taking delivery of another Aircraft Q-400 on Monday evening.
With this delivery, Aero has six serviceable aircraft which is sufficient to begin regular flight operations. Recall Aero had suspended operations over operational difficulties, one of which was lack of serviceable aircraft.
Aero is to take delivery of a total five Q-400 Bombardier aircraft which is an investment from Umza.
The Umza Aviation Services is Investment on aircraft alone in Aero is worth about $50 million (over N21.425bn at CBN fate) on an agreed profit sharing basis.
Capt Abdullahi Mahmood, with the additional aircraft “Nigerians should expect efficient, prompt and reliable service.”
The MD who was represented by the Head of Security, Adah Daniel said Aero entice customers with lower fare offering.
“Aero is looking at end of the month” to commence flight operations” he said..
“We wrote to the NCAA that we want to start operation, but we have to finish with the ongoing audit process. So, once we are through with the NCAA audit process and we are cleared, we will commence immediately. It could be earlier and it could be early next month but it depends on the audit. We are confident that the audit will end this month because we have already started. So, they will be coming in to do the final paperwork and once that is done, we are good to go” he explained.
On the choice of aircraft, the MD said “the aircraft is very dependable, it has fuel efficiency and its capacity is 75 seater.’
“So with this, we hope to meet aviation demand in terms of passengers and also cost because we have noticed that cost is a concern for a lot of travelling passengers. So, we believe when you operate a fuel-efficient aircraft, you will be able to fly passengers with a reasonable fare, so that is what we are looking at for the passengers” he noted.
Also commenting on the deal, an aviation expert and former MD, Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi said the choice of aircraft can give Aero to run at a reduced cost and this might impact ticket costs.
“If the aircraft you are using does not consume too much of the Jet A1, then you can drive down the cost which is why the choice of Dash 8Q400 is a good one. Any aircraft that does not consume too much fuel and will deliver the same product to the passengers will be a welcome development to investors because it will consume less fuel and you can afford to sell your ticket a bit less because you are consuming less fuel” he explained.
“So, I think the second coming of this aircraft shows that there is room for investment and I believe investors will key to what Umza has done to invest in the aviation industry to make it grow.
On how to drive down the cost of tickets, he said: ” The cost of tickets is a factor of so many things but the major one is the cost of JetA1. Another thing that will drive down the cost is the availability of the seats available to fly. If we have a lot of seats available, then the tickets will come down” he explained.
The Chairman, Umza Aviation Services, Honourable Mohammed Abubakar said he has invested almost $50 million in the purchase of the five aircraft.
He said the aircraft are not on lease but an outright purchase.